Effective Ways to Explain a 6-year-long Employment Gap in Your Resume


Shricareer Thu, 12/08/2022 - 14:41

After a long break from your employment, you decided to resume. your work. But you are worried whether recruiters will like to proceed with you to the interview round as you have a long employment gap in your career. Now the question is, how to mention the employment gap in your resume effectively which can impress the recruiter?

Your resumes are documents that the recruiter/ hiring manager uses to get their first impression of you. Hence, it is crucial to explain those employment gaps in your resume correctly, to avoid the negative impression that was to be formed about you. If you know how to mention your employment gaps in your resume effectively, it can help you create a great experience section in your resume.

In this blog, we will guide you about how to explain gaps in your employment history, as well as a list of good reasons and where to explain employment gaps in your resume.

What are employment gaps on resumes?

Employment gap means the time period in your professional career where you don’t have any formal employment experience. This employment can be for six months but can extend up to six years or more and can occur voluntarily or involuntarily. While mentioning your employment gap in your resume, if you don’t explain the reason for your gap in employment effectively and the experience you gained during that time, then it can be a cause for concern for you.

Why managers hate employment gaps.

Hiring managers are a lot strict when choosing their employees. They have set various aspects on basis of which they will select a candidate. And employment gaps are red flags. If recruiters see a lot of employment gaps in your resume , then they might be hesitant to select you as their employee. This is because recruiters might assume you were incarcerated, an addict, or just plain lazy.”

But whatever the reason is, do mention your career gap on your resume honestly. If you are thinking of avoiding explaining gaps in employment, then the hiring manager may assume the worst. And if you explain the real reason, then their worst-case imagination goes away. So, be honest.


How to explain employment gaps on your resume

  1. Prepare yourself to return to work.
  2. The first step in explaining employment gaps in your resume is by mentioning how you used the gap time to achieve new experiences, skills, or certifications. Show them that you were spending your jobless time to be ready to return to work. So, don’t waste your gap time. Instead, you can use this time to do some activities that will advance your careers, such as obtaining certifications pertinent to your field, continuing your education, participating in professional associations, and engaging in volunteer or contract work. These activities will help you to impress the recruiter by filling in any employment gaps on your CV with positive experiences.

  3. Choose the positions you need to list.
  4. Determining whether it is a good idea to mention your employment gap in your resume or not is the next step towards enhancing your resume. Every job you have ever held doesn’t necessarily need to be listed on your resume. For example; if you have several years of experience in your career, and your employment gap occurred early in your career, then you can skip mentioning the job you had before your gap in employment.

    As usual, you should mention only your most recent and most relevant employment experiences in the employment section of your resume. So, after you decide which experiences you should mention in your resume, then you can decide which employment gaps you need to explain.

  5. Avoid mentioning small gaps
  6. if your employment gaps are for a small period of time, that is for a few months, which occurred in-between jobs then you can disguise these gaps by omitting the month from the date of each experience. Instead, just mention the years you were employed in each position.

    if your employment gaps are for a small period of time, that is for a few months, which occurred in-between jobs then you can disguise these gaps by omitting the month from the date of each experience. Instead, just mention the years you were employed in each position.

  7. Choose the right format for your resume.
  8. Choose the resume format that makes the gap less obvious. Use the functional resume format to mention the employment gaps on your resume. This resume format focuses more on your skills and accomplishments than on your experience. Hence using this format will be more effective when you have long years of employment gap

    You can mention your employment gap in your resume in sections like a career summary statement and key accomplishments to help make the positive experiences you have the primary focus of your resume. Then, include your employment section toward the end of your resume.

  9. Note down all the reasons for longer employment gaps.
  10. If you have long periods of employment gaps in your resume then you need to address them in your resume more than you need to do with small employment gaps. So, if you are having an employment gap for a year or more then you will need to mention this information on your resume effectively. Because even if you are using a functional resume format, or omitting the months of your employment period, then this gap will still be obvious on your resume.

    To overcome this situation, you will need to honestly mention what you were doing during your employment gap in your experience section as if it were a job itself. Briefly mention these details on your resume so it doesn't distract the person reviewing your resume from more relevant experience.

    For example; if you took a break from your career for 1.5 years to take care of your sick mother, then you can include this time in your experience section like this:

    Full-time Caregiver; (2020-2021)

    • Took time away from my professional career to look after my sick mother and manage the household
    • Assisted her with their activities and chores like bathing, dressing, and feeding.
  11. Mention those experiences that you have gained during the gap (if relevant)
  12. You must have gained some experience while you were in a gap in your career. So, if the experience you have gained during your gap is relevant to the job you are applying for then include them on your resume. It can be beneficial to include more detailed information in your employment gap period. There are several activities or responsibilities that you must have done during your employment gap. You can find the most relevant duties or responsibilities of the position you are applying for and include them in your resume.

    For example: If you took an employment gap of 6 years to spend time traveling around the world, to explore different religions, cultures, and places, and if you are applying for a writer/ editor post then you can mention this employment gap in your resume’s experience section like this;

    Full-time traveler, (2016 – 2022)

  • Took a break from my professional career to travel around the world.
  • Explored various places and communicated with people around each locality.
  • Maintained my personal blog while traveling.

List of good reasons for employment gaps

There can be several reasons why employment gaps can occur both voluntary and involuntary reasons. So, while explaining employment gaps on your resume you will need to show some better reason for the gap. Briefly explain how you spend your time while unemployed as this is more important than the reason for your gap in employment. So, focus on the positives gained from your unemployment gap rather than any negatives and explain to them while mentioning the employment gaps on your resume.

Some of the good reasons for mentioning employment gaps in your resume are mentioned below.

  • Took a break from my career to a stay-at-home parent.
  • Took time to look for a new job
  • Spent time looking after my education
  • Took time for medical purposes.
  • Took time to relocate from one geographic area to another
  • Spent time for my personal development

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